United pilots held in Scotland on suspicion of intoxication, flight to Newark canceled

August 6, 2019

 

Police in Scotland say two pilots have been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs before a scheduled flight to New Jersey.

The flight, United Airlines 162 to Newark, New Jersey, was due to leave Glasgow Airport at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday. It was canceled after the arrests.

Police Scotland says the 61-year-old and 45-year-old pilots were held under the section of a transportation safety law that covers on the job intoxication and impairment for aviation.

Under the law, the legal alcohol limit for pilots, navigators and other flight personnel subjected to breath tests is less than half the drink-drive limit for motorists on Scotland’s roads.

In a statement to USA TODAY, United representative Jonathan Guerin wrote, “The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. We hold all of our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no tolerance policy for alcohol. These pilots were immediately removed from service and we are fully cooperating with local authorities.”

Guerin added that the airline provided hotel and meal vouchers for the passengers and rebooked them on alternate flights.

Flight 162, which runs daily, left at 9:23 a.m. local time and arrived in Newark at 11:16 a.m. EST., according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. Monday's flight departed on time as well.  

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